Rincon de la Vieja National Park

The Rincón de la Vieja Volcano is a composite mountain mass formed by the simultaneous eruption of several different volcanic cones which, over a period of time, have merged into a single mountain that now is topping at 1,916 meters in height.

All around the park there are fumaroles, geysers, and "baby" volcanoes can be seen at close distance. Also there are multiple thermal water springs and ponds that are enjoyed by the visitors.

On the south side of the Rincón de la Vieja crater there is a lake of clear, pleasant-tasting water. This lake which is of great scenic beauty is the favorite watering site of the tapirs (Tapirus bairdii) that live in the park.

Today the Rincon de la Vieja volcanic are is considered to be mildly active because of the large amount of active fumaroles. The last period of violent volcanic activity took place during the period from 1966 to 1970.

At the foot of the volcano is an area known as Las Hornillas (Kitchen Stoves) which extends over 50 Ha. It is also the site of hot springs which form small streams with very hot water, lagoons, and muddy water that are constantly bubbling steam and sulphurous gasses.

Rincón de Ia Vieja offers a variety of habitats due to the differences that exist in altitude, rainfall, effects of the volcanic eruptions. and the volcano slopes themselves.

From 1,400 meters to the summit there are low-growing forests where the trees have an unusually large number of branches that, together with the tree trunks, are covered with moss and other epiphytic plants.

Around 257 species of bird have been observed in the park, including the three-wattled beilbird (Procnias tricarunculata), which gets its name from its strange loud metallic song.

The park contains the largest number of the country's national flower, the guaria morada orchid (Cattleya skinneri).

One of the major values of this wildland is the protection of all the fauna and flora present here, the volcano's vast network of watersheds including impressive waterfalls and thermal streams and ponds.

The total area of the Rincon de la Vieja National park is about 14,000 Hectares. Additionally some neighbouring old cattle and agricultural estates have been preserving their lands for tourism purposes which helps form an immense buffer zone for the preservation of the park's habitat and wildlife.

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